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Vincent Schilling
Indian Country Today

The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, will be honoring their latest 2020 National Heritage Fellows with a virtual event open to the public on Thursday, 8 p.m. ET.

The event features and visits with a wide range of culturally diverse artists. It’s titled “The Culture of America: A Cross-Country Visit with the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellows.”

Among the recipients are Karen Ann Hoffman, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, a Haudenosaunee Raised Beadworker from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and Wayne Valliere, Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe, a birchbark canoe builder from Waaswaaganing, Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin.

Wayne Valliere (Photo credit Hypothetical Films)

The nine fellows also include William Bell, a soul singer and songwriter; Onnik Dinkjian an Armenian folk singer; Zakarya and Naomi Diouf, West African diasporic dancers; Los Matachines de la Santa Cruz de la Ladrillera, traditional religious dancers; Hugo N. Morales, a radio producer; John Morris, an old-time fiddler and banjo player and Suni Paz, a Nueva Canción singer and songwriter.

2020 Heritage Concert Collage

The event description states, “Join storyteller Queen Nur as she hosts a virtual trip across the country, taking viewers into the homes and communities where the 2020 National Heritage Fellows live and create.”

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The National Endowment for the Arts has created profile pages for both Hoffman and Valliere.

Hoffman’s biography, which discusses her lifetime and the meaning of Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork, is available here.

Valliere’s biography explaining his connection as a Native craftsman of birchbark canoes is located here.

How to watch

The pre-recorded virtual presentation will be webcast free to the public at on March 4, 8:00 p.m. ET. No RSVP needed.

Additionally, the event will be archived and viewers who are interested may watch them after the airing on Thursday.

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